Cllr Peter Campbell’s speech delivered during the Manston CPO debate at Thanet District Council on Thursday 21st May 2015
Congratulations Cllr Wells on your election as leader.
I would now like to put some questions to you that come out of the interview you gave last Sunday on the Sunday Politics Show.
When asked about the proposed CPO of Manston you replied and I quote “If we pass the public interest test and if the money is there from RiverOak we go ahead”.
Prior to the election there were no if statements made by you or your now UKIP Cllrs.
There were no ifs or buts you were going to reopen the airport. Indeed it was the lead in your leaflets and it could be argued you won the election on that promise to residents of Thanet.
I can now see, that after the election, your mood has considerably changed, for you are now backtracking on that promise Cllr Wells.
Perhaps more importantly however is what you then went on to say and I quote “if we do not pass the public interest test we at least have a position of strength to negotiate with the new owners what they want to do with the site”.
Firstly, Cllr Wells, please explain how failing the public interest test strengthens your negotiating position with the new owners? Because failing the public interest test means your CPO is finished, and this surely will weaken your negotiating position not strengthen it.
Secondly, I personally do not know in any great detail what the new owners do want for the site but I surely and certainly do know what they do not want and that is an airport.
I know this because they have repeated this on many occasions even putting it in an article they had published in the Gazette.
So are you now admitting that in these circumstances you too will negotiate the fate of Manston site with the new owners that does not include an airport, thereby breaking the promise you made to the residents of Thanet?
Now before the election there specifically was no plan B, well I suggest that there certainly is one now!
Is this new plan B for Backsliding or Plan B for Backtracking or is it just plain plan B for when, as you know Cllr Wells and have always known, a Plan B for when Plan A, the CPO of Manston, inevitably fails?